Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The New Square Gangsta' Rapper (Rebbe) And His"Shtreimel Rappers Band" Of Thieves

Anatomy Of A Pardon
How four New Square felons got their sentences commuted, and what Hillary had to do with it.

By Eric J. Greenberg
The New York Jewish Week

NEW YORK — Several weeks after her historic victory in New York's U.S. Senate race, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton attended a meeting at the White House with President Bill Clinton and the Skverer rebbe -- Rabbi David Twersky, spiritual leader of the scandal-scarred New Square chasidic sect in Rockland County.

But this was not the first meeting between New York's new junior senator and the 60-year-old grand rebbe of the 7,000-member village -- the first incorporated Jewish community in the U.S.

Clinton first campaigned there last August. That visit launched a series of events that last week culminated in a controversial last-minute clemency action on behalf of New Square by outgoing President Clinton.

His act came 10 weeks after New Square, breaking with most Orthodox communities, heartily supported Clinton's Senate campaign, delivered almost all of the village's votes for her.

The decision by President Clinton to commute the sentences of four prominent New Square men who stole tens of millions from the federal government in a phony yeshiva scheme is being criticized this week by law enforcement officials.

Questions are being raised about whether the first lady unduly capitalized on her relationship with her husband, who had the unregulated power to pardon or commute prison sentences.

New Square officials and a spokesman for Senator Clinton emphatically deny that any ``deal" was made before the election to deliver votes for her in return for the commutations of the ``New Square Four." Both say the subject was never even raised until December.

Clinton said Wednesday she played ``no role whatsoever" in the commutation. ``I had no opinion about it," she said.

But some critics don't believe it.

``Just look at the math," said a Republican operative familiar with the Senate race. ``She gets all of New Square's votes and two months later she [helps commute the sentences of] four people from the village."

The New Square commutations came among a blizzard of last-minute pardons and commutations -- many controversial -- directed by President Clinton on his last day in office. But New Square seems to be the only one connected to his wife's unprecedented race for the Senate.

New Square advocates argue the sentences were too harsh and that the convicted men did not gain personal profit from ill-gotten federal money -- a claim disputed by the federal judge during sentencing. New York law enforcement officials were irate over the New Square commutations.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White said they bypassed Justice Department procedures and did not give her office enough time to prepare arguments against them.

White's office learned of the New Square commutations on Jan 16 -- four days before the decision to pardon -- and was given a one-day deadline to reply. ``We found out about the New Square virtually at the last moment," said a law enforcement official.

In contrast to New Square, Clinton also publicly expressed concern about the Jonathan Pollard case, but no action was taken to commute Pollard's life sentence for spying on behalf of Israel (see accompanying story).

On Aug. 8, Clinton visited New Square, about 40 miles north of New York City. She visited the girls yeshiva and schmoozed with Rabbi Twersky's wife, Chana. She also had a private meeting with the rebbe.

At the time, Clinton's campaign was desperately trying to boost stagnant support for her among the state's key Jewish voters. Her opponent, former Long Island Republican Rep. Rick Lazio, seemed to be gaining momentum.

For Clinton, it was already clear that New York's Orthodox and chasidic communities would be a hard sell, as they were expressing their personal dislike for her and her positions, particularly regarding Israel. She needed to show she could win some support in Orthodox circles.

Meanwhile, New Square was coping with a series of scandals in which top village officials were going to jail or fleeing the country for swindling tens of millions of dollars in federal education, housing and small-business subsidies in a decade-long scam.

One widely publicized case included laundering money through a phony yeshiva set up in Brooklyn.

Rabbi Twersky desperately wanted to win clemency for the four noted New Square residents who on Jan. 25, 1999 were convicted of 21 charges including conspiracy, embezzlement, and wire and mail fraud. Kalmen Stern, 42, was sentenced to 78 months; David Goldstein, 54, of Brooklyn, 70 months; Jacob Elbaum 40, 57 months; and Benjamin Berger, 30 months. They were ordered to pay back millions of dollars.

(In addition, two others fled the country: New Square founders Chaim Berger, Benjamin's father, and Avraham David Friesel, son of Mayor Mattus Friesel. Chaim Berger, who fled to Israel, is awaiting extradition pending an Israeli Supreme Court hearing, while Abraham Friesel is still listed as a fugitive, authorities said.)

``The [prison sentences] were weighing heavily upon the rebbe's soul and mind," said an Orthodox leader familiar with Rabbi Twersky.(UOJ SAYS BULLSHIT, IT'S WEIGHING ON HIS POCKET)

For Clinton, the Aug. 8 meeting was a like a splash of cool water in the desert. Unlike more hostile receptions in Orthodox quarters, New Square welcomed her with warmth, participants agreed.

``The rebbetzin and Hillary got along extremely well," a Democratic campaign source recalled. ``The rebbe endorsed her."

But spokesmen for Clinton and New Square emphatically state that the issue of the four imprisoned men was not brought up then or anytime before Election Day.

``It was raised sometime after the election," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told The Jewish Week Tuesday. Asked specifically when, Wolfson said he did not know.

New Square spokesman Rabbi Mayer Schiller also vigorously assured that the issue was not brought up in August. But other Rockland County political insiders dispute their claims.

``From day one [the issue of commutation] was part and parcel of the whole thing," said one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ``[New Square representatives] spelled out clearly their interest in her helping those who were incarcerated."

After the August meeting, New Square officials began campaigning for Clinton, even outside the village, though Clinton's positions on such core issues as school vouchers, abortion and Israel were in opposition to New Square.

Community members drove around in cars with loudspeakers urging -- in Yiddish -- for Rockland County Orthodox residents to vote for her. A Yiddish weekly endorsed her based on lobbying from New Square.

``It's not a secret their support was based on the hope that she would look kindly towards the people that are incarcerated," said Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald, a prominent Orthodox leader who lives in nearby Monsey. ``They really went out and helped her. It was an honest attempt to get votes and get support for Hillary Clinton."

On Election Day, Clinton carried New Square, 1,400 to 12. It was a glaring exception to much of the Orthodox world and New Square's chasidic neighbors, who voted overwhelmingly for Lazio.

``I would say in general that chasidic voting blocs are motivated greatly by self interest," explained Rabbi Schiller when asked about the anomaly. ``New Square tends to vote in blocs, usually based upon personal relationships developed with politicians."

Six weeks after the election, Rabbi Twersky and New Square Deputy Mayor Israel Spitzer found themselves sitting in the White House map room with President Clinton and Sen.-elect Hillary Clinton. It was the first time Rabbi Twersky had ever been in the White House, Rabbi Schiller said. (Rabbi Twersky does not grant interviews and Spitzer declined to be interviewed directly.)

During a scheduled 15-minute meeting on Dec. 22 that stretched into 45 minutes, according to New Square officials, Rabbi Twersky raised the issue of seeking mercy for the New Square four and help for fugitive Chaim Berger in Israel.

Rabbi Twersky has never publicly commented about the sins of his community members, and repeatedly turned down interviews to explain the scandal.

Spitzer related that Rabbi Twersky told the president about ``a dark cloud" over the community, referring to the prison sentences. The rabbi then presented a letter to President Clinton signed by several Jewish organizations asking for mercy.

``[Clinton] read the letter and said he would look into it," Rabbi Schiller quoted Spitzer. Rabbi Schiller said he could not provide a copy of the letter.

Asked to see any photos taken with the rabbi and the Clintons, Rabbi Schiller denied they existed. But a former White House spokesman confirmed photos were taken and sent to New Square.

Meanwhile, following the White House session, New Square hired Washington attorney Samuel Rosenthal to file the forms necessary to request presidential pardons and commutations -- actions an outgoing president traditionally takes in the last weeks of his term.

On Saturday, Clinton commuted the sentences of the New Square four. In all Clinton pardoned 140 people and commuted 36 prison sentences.

Also under attack is the pardon of Susan Rosenberg, found guilty of possession of 700 pounds of explosives and a submachine gun in a 1984 New Jersey case.

In the case of the New Square four, Clinton commuted Benjamin Berger's sentence to 24 months and the rest to 30 months. All will serve about another 18 months.

But according to a Justice Department spokeswoman, Clinton's commutation does not dismiss the court's order that they repay millions of dollars in restitution and undergo several years of supervised release. Stern still owes the government $11.2 million; Elbaum $11.1 million; Goldstein, $10.1 million; and Berger $522,977.

Experts said commutations, unlike pardons, are generally granted to shorten a sentence that is deemed too long or otherwise unfair, or to reward cooperation with the government.

White, in a statement speaking of the New York related cases, said: ``The facts of several of these cases in particular raise significant law enforcement concerns, the seriousness of the crimes is diminished, and the fact and the appearance of evenhanded justice is compromised." This apparently referred to claims by New Square that her office was overzealous and biased against the village.

But criminal justice experts said the New Square commutations sends a dangerous message about the workings of the justice system to a community that in 1996 was fined $1 million by a federal judge for contempt for refusing to comply with his order to provide evidence.

(Those Bastards set a F***** building on fire to destroy the records and then collected fire insurance to boot)

Observers also fear the commutations will have negative repercussions among New Square's non-Jewish neighbors, who believe that Orthodox Jews already receive special treatment from elected officials.

``This is not justice, this is politics," said Rockland County Sheriff James Kralik, whose office began the investigation years ago.

``This was a situation in my opinion that grew out of the election campaign of Mrs. Clinton and possibly Al Gore," he told the Rockland Journal newspaper Tuesday. ``And the community certainly showed their respect for Mrs. Clinton with their votes.''

It just makes you puke! These gangsters do not practice Judaism, they USE their filthy disguises to steal, lie, cheat, and destroy our religion. CHASSIDISM IS NOT JUDAISM. David Twersky AKA the Rebbe is the same worthless low-life scumbag as the rest of his gang of hoodlums. The people who seek him out for brachas, will have those words turned into curses. All of them will rot in Hell as they should. There is a special place in HELL for ALL the fur hat gangsters, or whatever they call themselves!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

and a good moed to you too

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, thanks for the enlightening and heartwarning closing thoughts. One can tell that you look at things objectively. JERUSALEM JEW.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Guten Moed!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Above Poster,
Perfect for the New Square Guys!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Normal Chassid said...


Why are you digging through old archives of news papers?

Are you lacy to write your own material?

What do you do during Shabbos and yom tov? Dream of who to attack next?

Thursday, October 20, 2005 1:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Normal Chassid said...


Spelling correction to my earlier post

Thursday, October 20, 2005 1:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would think that the insurance company wouldn't pay out for a fire that UOJ knows they deliberatly set. JERUSALEM JEW.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:39:00 AM  
Anonymous sechel said...

I agree about the skverer.But the broad condemnation does you no justice.You need to differentiatethe criminals from the rest.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 6:31:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

We are talking about the leadership of these people.
All the "pillars" of ALL the chassidic community are corrupt, yes, not the baker, the school bus driver,but the Rebbe, the Mayor.....
It is a continuing ongoing pattern of corruption and criminal behavior that makes this so sick.
It's NOT getting better it's becoming more and more an integral part of how they conduct their affairs.
Chumras are for the lower class, but the bigshots get to violate ALL the basic precepts of the Torah.
I keep writing about it and quote other people's writings , because when I write people say I'm making it up.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Hershel (UOJ),

What up? (besides for...well whatever...)

When are you coming off your Sabbatical?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Rabbi Hershel to you!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 1:09:00 PM  
Blogger yankel said...

Oy Vey.... only more tzorus in Klal yisroel> Hashem Yirachem>>>

One very key concept to remember in all of this orgy of chassidus -bashing -- or for that matter, bashing of any group- is not to judge the teachings by the virtues of its followers- if a couple bigshots in skver get caught stealing money and the rebbe wants to help them . > does that imply that their entire concept of yiddishkeit is krum? If they are misguided in some of their thinking ,does that mean their tfillos are all B.S?

" Dont judge judaism by the jews"
No movement is perfect and all have their share of charlatans and no-goodniks,on the other hand some movements have way more than their fair share( e.g chabad), in those situations t

Thursday, October 20, 2005 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger yankel said...

.... sorry > in those situations I try to individually judge the persons involved > I had a guy stay at my house recently who told me that it was his belief that the rebbe was still alive IN 770 ,we just couldnt see him anymore. His grave ? I asked? He replied that there was no one inside!!! This idea is clearly off-base and beyond the tenets of orthodox judaism, BUT does that mean that Im gonna throw him outta my house b/ c he has some totally krum ideas? No ! I preffered to look at him as an impressionable youth who unfortunately has found the light in a very strange place- if you will- a tinok shenishba- or a plain shoteh,a fool! but a sweet jew -Sure!! . Impassioned as he was I can only hope that he sees the light in the right places going forward.I hope and pray that chabad or at least the sick and wounded part beyond repair starts to lose repute and falls away from the body of judaism while the rest reaffirm their belief in H'BH and his toras chaim and rejoin the mainstream bodies of judaism.When this will occur is anybodys guess but occur it will- false messiahs and other b.s movements that have grown out of judaism have for the most part either branched off completely or withered and died ( whether chassidus in general is one of these- Ill leave to "daas torah".)-((UOJ will certainly have his opinion))In closing -All Klal Yisroel- the chasidim to the reform should have a Gutt Moed!!May one day soon Moshiach come and clear up our confusions and bring us that most elusive ideal - Unity!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 1:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 2:21:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The foundation of Yiddishkeit is yiras Shomayim and Yiras chate, not eating cholent and mumbling in shul.
These guys including their Rebbe are MAZEDEN, they commit these sins and crimes intentionally.
I'm NOT talking about the lost idiots at your Shabbos table, he can not cause damage, rather the Chabad leadership deserves the Hell they're going to get for their apikurses and destroying people's souls.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i always thought the foundation of yiddishkeit was cholent and mumbling in shul.

Thank you, uoj, for saving my soul.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 3:10:00 PM  
Blogger yankel said...

Agreed, the leadership who encourages these ideas are clearly guilty of " leading the people astray" and will in all liklihood burn for it- however could be that they themselves are lost fools, not deliberate apikorsim. Secondly a lot of the venom could and will alienate many of the "lost fools" that could otherwise be saved from some of the madness by reinforcing and stregthening the walls that divide us rather than strongly CONDEMNING the behavior and the ideas rather than attacking the people!( exceptions are obviously the delibrate ones- who should be maligned and slandered as much as possible -I heard a psak halacha from a noted rav concerning a personal situation regarding an abuser in a certain community- that he is considered a RODEPH! - and would we not be living in the US but rather in pre war europe he would personally accompany me to the dark alley etc etc.but now etc etc (basiclly were all chicken etc) dina dimalchusa dina etc>> take him to beis din for monetary damages for pain and suffering >> interesting food for thought!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 4:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 4:10:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

R' Yankel,
EVERY group of Chassidim and their rebbes and leadership are INFECTED with this machla.
It is not an isolated incident.
Many non-chassidish mosdos are doing the same.
CHOSHEN MISHPOT has been obliterated from their Shulchan Aruch, period.
It is a mitzva gedolah to publicly expose them , yes by names, whenever possible.
The problem is these guys don't feel shame.
They're like dogs- they drop their zevel wherever they are and could not care less who is watching.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 5:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met r' yudi kolko on yom tov, and he told me he is in the process of preparing a lawsuit against UOJ. NOW we will know who you are and your lies will be exposed! BE AFRAID! BE VERY, VERY AFRAID. JERUSALEM JEW.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:15:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I am looking forward to it!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your false bravado won't do you any good in court. When you hear that blogger has to give up your info to be served your papers you will wet your pants like the girlyman you are. JERUSALEM JEW. and you should know that he told me the name of the lawyer he's retained, i hope you can afford a cochranesque lawyer.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And to quote you elsewhere on this blog, "he doesn't take a case unless he's sure that he will win"

Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I am getting a little bored lately.
I would love to be able to parade fifty witnesses or so for the world to see.
I never lose!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in my shul they never serve cholent which is a source of much mumbling.

i am a witness that jerusalem jew does not live in jerusalem.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uoj has a team of lawyers preparing his briefs.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:10:00 PM  
Blogger kjef1 said...

Stealing is stealing. Its a simple
concept.They should be very ashamed.Where are the chumras concerning stealing? There we find silence.How can they bang their chests on yom kippur?The hypocrisy.
And above all lets not call it anti semtism. It diminishes the term.

Friday, October 21, 2005 12:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chutzpa of the rebbe going to washington to parade the ganeva in every bodies face, especially in front of the non jews. They should hide their faces.

Friday, October 21, 2005 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Heshy said...

I see nothing wrong with a Rebbe or any Jew going to Washington to help a Jew in prison.You modern oerthodox find nothing wrong with helping Pollard who spied on America. The mitvah of helping a fellow Jew does not exclude a Jew who stole or did other crimes. I live in the Brooklyn Ocean pkwy area otherwise known as the suburbs of Boro park and I support all frum Jews.I invite all of you to my sukkah and houuse for Shabbos.You can reach me at my cell 917 468 4840

Friday, October 21, 2005 12:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uoj-i know of three people plus myself who will be testifying for you.

Friday, October 21, 2005 12:49:00 AM  
Anonymous aaron said...

the rebbe belongs in jail with the rest of the crooks.

Friday, October 21, 2005 12:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in jerusalem in the maalot dafna neighborhood. Any one who would like to meet me can post his desire to do so here and it can be arranged. JJ.

Friday, October 21, 2005 4:44:00 AM  
Blogger Kazzrie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, October 21, 2005 4:59:00 AM  
Anonymous sexy guy said...

I would kike to meet you

Friday, October 21, 2005 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger De Post Man said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, October 21, 2005 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Adolf said...

Who gives a crap about meeting a piece of shit Jew in Israel, there are millions in New York?

Friday, October 21, 2005 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we will meet in heshy's cell.

Friday, October 21, 2005 3:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if they can steal i can break shabbes

Friday, October 21, 2005 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you help these criminals than they feel that they have free reign to do what they want as long as they give a % to the "yeshiva".
However, if the rebbe shuns them ,
then they will know the consequences of there actions. And perhapes they will think twice.Lets not help criminals that cause chilul Hashem.

Saturday, October 22, 2005 8:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that the Rambam states that "one who commits a chillul Hashem is not able to do Tshuva".

Saturday, October 22, 2005 8:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if electronic music isn't live music, is anonymous, internet "hillul Hashem," about things which are davar yadu'a, chillul Hashem?

Let's get real and face facts, not get defensive and cover up the dirt.

Let's party.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 8:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you brought up this old story from 5 years ago?

Olso i thing it's about time for you to do "Thshuva" and become an Orthodox jew and you will be realy happy "B'simcha" like us chasidim.

You look very depressed and guilty to be Un-Orthodox. And you should be!! because subconsciously
you know what real life is, what a mitzvah is, what a shabbes is, what a yom-tov is, what emuna and b'tuchen is,

You can gladly come to us in New Square for a Shaabes and enjoy the spiritual and holiness
of a Shaabes tish. And i can
promise you will become a "Ba'al thshuva".

Monday, November 14, 2005 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a few word's from an outsider (Un-Orthodox Jew) visiting New Square for a shaabes.

New Square is an exclusive village of Skverer chasidim, just outside of
Monsey, NY. It is a very special experience to spend Shabbos there. You
really _feel_ Shabbos there as the entire village observes it.

The people of New Square are renowned for their hospitality to visitors.
Several years ago, I spent a Shabbos there with my father,
who is not Orthodox, and people went out of their way to make him feel welcome.

Even if you just showed-up in New Square right before Shabbos without making
any advance arrangements, it is almost guaranteed that people would see to
it that you had where to eat and sleep, but of course one should not do that

It is best to go to New Square when one is well-rested as the schedule is
quite taxing.

The Friday evening services start very late in New Square. Mincha usually
starts close to an hour after sunset [3]. Then, of course, Kabbalas Shabbos
and Maariv follow.

After people go home and eat their own meals, they return to the beis
medrash for the rebbes 'tisch'. This is where the rebbe makes kiddush and
eats his own Shabbos meal surrounded by the chasidim who sing and partake of
the 'shirayim' of his food. The tish doesn't end before 1:30 a.m..

Shacharis (the morning prayer service) on Shabbos morning begins at 10:30
a.m. during standard time and 11 a.m. during daylight savings time but the
congregation recites the entire sefer Tehilim together (Book of Psalms)
prior to that, starting at around 8 or 8:30 a.m.

If I recall correctly, the morning services end at around 1:30 p.m.. I don't
recall whether or not there is another tisch for the daytime seuda (meal).

Shabbos afternoon mincha takes place shortly before sunset and for some
reason, they are very careful to finish before sunset, however the Rebbe doe
s not begin shalosh seudos until close to an hour after sunset or later and
the lights go out for it and it extends well into the night. There are,
however, several earlier minyanim that break away for maariv.

The Rebbe sees people privately both before and after Shabbos, as late as 1
or 2 a.m. is typical.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 4:00:00 PM  

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